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A roof but not a home’
The house-sitting trend has grown over the years, with many online websites helping to connect sitters with potential homes.
While the lifestyle has turned Sue Prince’s life around, for some older women, house-sitting can become a necessity rather than a choice.
Liz Lennon returned to WA to care for a sick friend after a long stint living in Ireland and found herself with few housing options.
“I’ve spent nearly two years house-sitting and in those two years I have probably stayed in 12 or more different places,” Ms Lennon said…
Ms Lennon said while house-sitting was great for those who chose the lifestyle, it could hide the true picture of homelessness in Australia.
“It abrogates governments and NGO [non-government organisation] responsibility for actually looking at some innovative housing options for older, single women at risk of homelessness,” she said.
“Older single woman at risk of homelessness are silent, invisible and well-behaved; they are just not counted.”
Mr Fielder is calling for governments to invest in more long-term social housing and other alternative housing options.
Co-housing arrangements, co-operatives, and share housing with other older women are some of his suggestions.
“These are terrific ideas that are starting to be developed by older women themselves,” he said.